Over-the-counter pain relievers may harm your blood pressure

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In a new study from the American Heart Association, researchers found while nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure (HBP), only 29% think over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may raise blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association’s 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure, high blood pressure is defined as a consistent blood pressure measurement of 130 over 80 or higher.

The guidelines also state that some OTC pain relievers may elevate blood pressure.

The majority of adults in the general population, as well as people with high blood pressure, aren’t sure about the effect of OTC pain medicine on their blood pressure.

Only a little more than half of those diagnosed with high blood pressure, who take OTC pain relievers (53%) check with their doctor before taking this medicine.

Conducted by The Harris Poll, the survey polled 2,013 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Additional findings from the survey include:

38% of those with high blood pressure think over-the-counter pain relievers may raise blood pressure.

Only 21% of U.S. adults know that acetaminophen does not raise blood pressure, and those with high blood pressure are only slightly more aware of this fact (28%).

39% of U.S. adults with high blood pressure report acetaminophen is the over-the-counter medication they take most often for pain.

Only 10% of U.S. adults with HBP self-measure their BP multiple times a day and only 14% do so at least once a day.

In the U.S., high blood pressure is the No. 1 preventable cause of heart disease and stroke and second only to cigarette smoking as a preventable cause of death for any reason.

The team says because some pain relievers may cause elevated blood pressure, people should consult their doctors and make sure they read the label before taking any over-the-counter medication for pain, especially if they have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

If you care about blood pressure health, please read studies about how a doctor’s presence may alter blood pressure readings and findings of this type of food may help control blood pressure.

For more information about high blood pressure, please see recent studies about after 60 years, scientists find missing link in our body’s blood pressure control and results showing that a common and unrecognized cause of high blood pressure.

One researcher of the study is Willie Lawrence, Jr., M.D.

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